Group : Stanhopeinae
Covers these genera : Acineta (Acn.) , Coryanthes (Crths.) , Coryhopea (Crhpa.) , Embreea (Emb.) , Gongora (Gga.) , Houlettia (Hlt.) , Lueddemannia (Lddmnn.) , Paphinia (Pna.) , Schlimmia (Schlmm.) , Sievekingia (Svkng.) , Soterosanthus (Strsnt.) , Stanhopea (Stan.)

General information for this group :
Most members of this group require nearly identical conditions. They are easy to grow and bloom when provided with the right environment. You can find some of the most bizarre and fragrant orchid flowers in this group. The initial discussion is for Stanhopea and any hybrid which has Stanhopea in it's background. For subgroups that have additional information, it will appear under individual headings near the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can click on the genus name above to take you directly to that subgroup.

Subgroup : Stanhopea

Covers these genera : Acineta (Acn.) , Coryanthes (Crths.) , Coryhopea (Crhpa.) , Embreea (Emb.) , Gongora (Gga.) , Houlettia (Hlt.) , Lueddemannia (Lddmnn.) , Paphinia (Pna.) , Stanhopea (Stan.)

Description :
Stanhopeas are easy to grow and bloom under most conditions. Since the bloom spikes are pendulous, they are best grown and displayed in baskets that can be suspended. The flowers are usually quite large and waxy. Other genera in this group may have smaller flowers, but then they are produced in much greater profusion.

Light :
Moderate light levels suit most species best. If you are having trouble blooming your plant then try increasing the light levels a little at a time. The leaf color should be a good medium-green if the light levels are optimal. They can also be summered outdoors hanging from tree branches, to provide protection from the hot sun, but also to take advantage of the humidity and air movement.

Temperature :
Intermediate temperatures suit most species best. In the home, a sunroom or solarium setting would probably suit plants best, since it would provide the room needed for a maturing plant. If you only have limited space, then ensure that you are purchasing plants that will stay more compact.

Media :
This group will grow in many different media. If properly potted, we find straight sphagnum or rockwool good choices for young plants. The mix you use should be fairly moisture retentive since hanging plants dry out much faster than pots on a shelf or bench.

Water :
Rainwater or dehumidifier water are the best choices, followed by good city water. NEVER use softened water, well-water or bottled water. Humidity levels should be over 50% for best growth and blooming. Avoid misting as this will usually spot the leaves.

Fertilizing :
A properly balanced orchid fertilizer is best (ie. 3:1:3 or 4:1:4 ratio). Apply only during the active growing period (Feb to Sept), flushing with plain water at least every fourth watering.

Blooming :
Bloom spikes of this group either go through the mix, opening directly below the plant, or over the edge of the mix, blooming to the side of the plant. For those that go through the mix, make sure there is no obstruction to the spike's journey through the mix. Stanhopea spikes will stop development if they hit an immovable flat surface, so keep the bottom of the pot as open as possible.

Subgroup : Wet Growers

Covers these genera : Schlimmia (Schlmm.) , Sievekingia (Svkng.) , Soterosanthus (Strsnt.)

Description : Most of these are more compact versions of Stanhopeas. They grow in higher-moisture areas so are usually quite intolerant of media drying out or humidity levels that are too low.

Same as for Stanhopea, except :

  • Avoid excessive heat, keeping to the cool-intermediate range.
  • NEVER let these dry out completely, as this will not be tolerated.

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